Liquor board will not protest local marijuana laws; production limits outlined

Staff writerFebruary 19, 2014 

It looks as though the State Liquor Control Board will not challenge the right of local jurisdictions to ban marijuana enterprises within counties, cities or towns in Washington.

The board on Wednesday issued a statement that said: ”Several communities and jurisdictions across Washington have enacted local bans or moratoriums on recreational marijuana businesses. In a formal Attorney General Opinion issued January 16, 2014, the Attorney General’s Office concluded that ‘I-502 left in place the normal powers of local governments to regulate within their jurisdictions’ and that ‘…nothing in I-502 limits that authority with respect to licensed marijuana businesses.’

“While the law is silent on the issue of local bans, there is also nothing with the law which allows for the Board to deny licenses to qualified applicants. If an applicant meets the state’s criteria for licensure, the Board will issue a state license. Like any other type of business, a licensee must be in compliance with local laws and regulations.”

In other action Wednesday, the board announced it had approved staff recommendations “to  limit the number of individual marijuana producer licenses to one and initially limit production at 70 percent, clearing a path for the agency to begin issuing producer and processor licenses.”

The action “clears an obstacle and allows the agency to begin issuing marijuana producer and processor license in the coming weeks,” Chairwoman Sharon Foster. “We believe this is the most fair and equitable way to get the market up and running.”


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